by Guest Writers on Sep 26, 2012
Desal Affects All
Jim Jones’s letter of Sept. 18 about the “Secret of Desal” is certainly as provocative as he suggested it would be. Letters that reveal secrets—even if those secrets are factually incorrect—usually do get folks excited.
There are many errors in the Jones letter. Most glaring and most troubling is his assertion that the aquifer that is in danger of destruction by saltwater intrusion belongs solely to the Soquel Creek Water District. That aquifer is also under the City of Santa Cruz water service area, and is an important source of water for City water users, too. We all need to participate in protecting it.
Jones also simply makes some stuff up. For instance, it is just incorrect to say the City Council has said, “Desal is the best answer. Just trust us.” The City Council unanimously voted to put the question of desal to the voters in our community... and the Council did that a few months BEFORE the right to vote on desal signature gatherers qualified their measure for the ballot.
Of course, no provocative letter around here can do without a line like this: “Real estate agents, landscapers, restaurateurs, building contractors, retailers, wealthy people who own large amounts of income and commercial property county-wide: they would all suffer.” For provocative letters, it is always important to make sure the community “understands” that moneyed interests might get something out of the thing the letter-writer opposes.
Never mind that, in a major drought, pretty much everyone would suffer and many treasured resources would suffer: your gardens and my yard and my neighbor’s hotel job and everyone’s parks would suffer in Santa Cruz and in mid-county if we have a serious multi-year drought. The suggestion that only mid-county has a problem is dead wrong.
I have much respect for many of those in the community who question the need for desal. It is an issue that needs careful scrutiny. But arguments against desal also require similar scrutiny. It is so important that we get this right—and misleading people will not contribute to that effort.
Mayor, Santa Cruz
The Party House Problem
What a fantastic, clear, comprehensive and accurate article Georgia Perry wrote on Rowdy Houses (“Santa Cruz Guide,” Sept. 22) and party protocol for those students who live in town. As a 32-year resident of the West side (and UCSC employee for that time), I applaud your writing on this topic. UCSC has developed a wonderful renter’s website about living in town and I hope everyone is aware of it.
Re: parties, here’s some additional background:
1. Homeowners and other residents are not necessarily always upset with the students, though it may seem that way. We “get” that a break is welcome from studying, but we have been frustrated by landlords who live elsewhere and don’t respond to weekly calls at 2 am to please intervene on noise and party trash in front yards. The landlords weren’t interested in enhancing the neighborhood community even though they owned a house on the block. We had to leave messages on an answering machine that had a young kid’s voice on it and sometimes heard back. Sometimes there have been assaults on women UCSC students as a result of the parties. We hate to see that.
2. The eternal Santa Cruz problem on or off campus: Parking, parking, parking. If your party guests take up the limited spots available on the street, it gets to be a challenge for nine months to return home and not find parking at 10 or 11pm. Seek creative and safe transportation solutions.
3. If you leave the party at midnight or after, please be aware that there is something about the geology here that makes voices reverberate all over the neighborhood at 2 am as you walk down the street.
Wouldn’t it be great if that $25,000 that UCSC spends for extra police in Fall Quarter could go instead into something positive, rather than enforcement, like enhancing the UCSC University Library collections?
Retired UCSC Librarian